Eight witnesses took the stand on day 10 of the first Twin Peaks trial, including four Waco police officers and two former Twin Peaks restaurant employees.
Christopher Jacob Carrizal is the first biker on trial for the shootout that happened outside the Twin Peaks restaurant two years ago. He was indicted on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and directing activities of a criminal street gang.
A former Twin Peaks restaurant employee Shaniqua Corsey, who testified on Tuesday, said she saw the first person who fired the shots outside the Twin Peaks restaurant.
Corsey, who liked motorcycles, said she was told a biker peace rally would take place at the restaurant on May 17, 2015. The former Twin Peaks busser and maintenance worker said she was curious so she went to the gate to peak at the motorcycles and saw them rolling in.
However, Corsey said when she went back inside the saw through the window something that caught her attention.
"All these bikers were crowding around in what I like to call a fight circle,” Corsey said.
Corsey testified seeing a man with a yellow helmet, near bikers wearing yellow and black, which are the colors of the Cossacks involved in the fight. She said it escalated when he pulled out a long barrel revolver.
“He pulled it out and aimed directly in front of him and pulled the trigger,” Corsey said.
During Corsey’s testimony, the identity of the man in the yellow helmet was never revealed.
Her coworker Jamie Pritchard, who was a server, said she thought the first biker who was struck was a member of the Cossacks.
SWAT Officer Michael Bucher who responded to the shootout at Twin Peaks didn't discuss who was struck first. However, he described expecting to disperse a fight, but not a shootout.
He recounted being parked in the Don Carlos Parking lot when he noticed people were started to fight. He testified planning to retrieve the gas bag from his vehicle while his partner handled the radio communications.
However, he said 15 to 20 seconds later, a large fight started to happen.
"At first just the one or two shots right off the bat, pretty successful rate of fire after that. I mean, it was a pretty quick rate of fire. You could hear the gunfire whizzing over a vehicle. It probably lasted close to a minute,” Bucher said.
Bucher said at that time, he started scanning the crowd for any threats. He testified to shooting at three bikers, which he said were posing a threat to himself, other officers civilians and bikers.
Two of them, he claims, had guns, on them. However, he said one of them had another weapon.
"There was also another man swinging a large chain looking object at another guy, that guy was retrieving and running from him, I did fire at him,” Bucher said.
A grand jury cleared Bucher from any crimes for his involvement in the shooting.
When asked whether bikers involved in the shootout could claim self-defense for their involvement, Bucher replied no.
"When two rival gangs meet in an area to find basically with consent and both show up to an area, they already have beef with each other, they both show up to that location and then they have a fight, then they can't claim self-defense,” Bucher said.
Sgt. Sam Key who also testified on day 10 of the first Twin Peaks trial said he helped process the scene and execute search warrants.
He testified about finding two rifles, a handgun and 180 rounds of ammunition in a truck that belonged to arrested biker Thomas Landers. Officers also recovered a flag from the Escondidos biker group and a flyer about an event in Pflugerville from 4 p.m. to close the same day of the shooting, according to Sgt. Key.
When Defense Attorney Casie Gotro asked Sgt. Key if it would’ve made more sense for Landers to carry the guns with him if he were trying to engage in criminal activity, Key replied officers found an empty holster in his vehicle.
“I do know that there were a lot of weapons that were not on people's persons. There were weapons in toilets. There were weapons hidden in different places,” Sgt. Key said.
Another officer, who also testified discussed her interaction with the defendant. This has been the first time that someone has mentioned speaking with Carrizal the day of the shootout.
Waco Police Detective Melissa Thompson said she interviewed Carrizal at the Waco Convention Center after he was detained.
Prosecutors retrieved the items of clothing he was wearing that day and showed it to the jury. It included a Bandidos shirt and a vest with Bandido patches.
When prosecutors asked Thompson whether the condition of the vest indicated, it had been through a scuffle, she replied yes.
A crime scene technician Joyce Marek who went to the hospital to take evidence of 17 injured bikers and a deceased biker said she photographed Carrizal’s father. He had injuries to his head and nose.
The trial will resume on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
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